PITTSBURG — The weather was perfect for baseball on Thursday at Jaycee Ballpark, where the Arkansas Express defeat Neosho 14-1 in the first day of American Legion action.
It was all Express from the opening pitch, as they scored 12 runs in the first two innings before ending the game after the fourth due to run rule.
“It’s tough to go out and keep your focus when you’re up by that much, but we did a good job of throwing strikes and putting runs on the board,” Arkansas head coach Blake Baxendale said. “We came out and put five runs up and then seven more runs in the second to make it 12-1. At that point, you just really have to go out and pound the strike zone and Patrick Babcock did a good job of that.”
Arkansas hit the ground running with five runs in the opening frame to jump out to a quick 5-0 lead.
The inning was highlighted by a two-run single to right field off the bat of Logan Easterling and included an RBI double by Babcock.
Neosho got one run back in the bottom half of the frame on a defensive miscue, but the Express struck for seven runs in the second inning to extend the lead to double digits at 12-1.
11 batters came to the plate in the second inning for the Express, with Matthew Schilling, Easterling, Peyton Pallette and Babcock all notching RBIs.
After a scoreless third inning, the Express tact on two more insurance runs in the fourth thanks to RBI singles by Logan Hatcher and Zach West, before holding Neosho scoreless in the bottom half to end the game by run rule.
“We just have to keep having good at-bats,” Baxendale said. “That’s our motto, just have quality at-bats. When we have those, we give ourselves a chance to win. Combine that with throwing strikes and playing good defense, you’ll have success.”
EXPRESS AT THE PLATE
Easterling was the offensive catalyst, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
Pallette also had three RBIs on one hit with three runs scored and three stolen bases.
Neosho will match up against Inside Edge at 1:30 p.m. on Friday at Jaycee Ballpark, before Arkansas takes the field to play against Webb City at 3:45 p.m.